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Product Reviews

The consultants at Inspired Developers Group are continuously exposed to new products within the world of technology. Occassionally, we run across something we really like or really hate. Here is where you can see our impressions of those products and reviews we've given them on amazon.com.

  • Moving from Mechanical drive to SSD? Check out this automated USB 3 disk cloner

  • Last week one of our programmers finally agreed to let us upgrade his development laptop to SSD.. psh programmers! Anyway, I couldn't find out standard usb to sata adapter to transfer everything via our normal software so I decided to check out the FIDECO SATA/ID to USB 3 w/Offline One Touch Cloning and i've got to say, pretty darn simple. Plug in the source drive and the new ssd drive, power it up and click the clone button.. watch the nice light show on the progress led's and thats it. Really can't see it being any easier. It also doubles as a straight sata to usb adapter.

  • Inexpensive Pro Quality Monitor or MULTI monitor

  • As remote support tech and application developers it common for us to look at our screens more of the day then we don't. This means eye fatigue, multiple monitors, clarity and accurate color representation are mission critical for our team. Recently we had an opportunity to upgrade one of our workstations to a 6 monitor solution and after testing half a dozen monitors we decided on the suprisingly inexpensive and feature rich Dell P2419H 24" LED ANTI-GLARE IPS FULL HD monitors for the job. These guys are well under $200 each, have the ComfortView feature and have 100mm VESA mount ready for our 6 monitor mount. We were also very impressed with the super inexpensive ASUS VA24EHE 23.8" IPS FULL HD with EYE CARE monitor. The only reason we went with the Dell is because you can install them upside down for the top row of our 6 monitor block and have a very slim bezel on all monitor connecting edges. Both are fantastic monitors and very reasonably priced, if you are doing 3 monitors or less, i'd likely go with the ASUS.
    We also reviewed stands, 6 monitors on one stand can be a daunting task for the stand to handle! Ultimately we went with the revered TechOrbits Hex Monitor Stand, heavy duty aluminum plus liketime warranty and super stable due to its dual desk clamps. Love it.

  • Looking for a good deal on a thumbdrive/usb memory stick?

  • Check out the Samsung Fit Plus USB 3.1 Flash Drive, super small form factor, comes in 128gb size which will be plenty for most advanced users. Even works great as a Tesla Sentry USB drive and since its so small you don't have to worry about snagging it on something. Fast enough for the most demanding applications and since its Samsung you know its going to last a long time.

    If you are the technical type than you may want to check out what I use, the 256GB USB 3.1 360° Rugged Flash Drive with Keychain. The extended size comes in handy when I need to move large files, backup a client computer or just transfer a bunch of photo or video. The keychain works great and is designed to allow much easier USB insertion. The rugged metal casing hold up well against my fast paced work environment.

  • Seagate raises the bar!

  • Seagate has released its new line of external backup hard drives that boast a very impressive max capacity of 8TB in ONE drive! That's a whole lot of data! Incidentally, as we test out the streaming strength of these new drives, why not test out a new chair! So far so good! Black Leather Chair with Ottoman. We love testing out new products and are looking at the new Seagate line up now! Check back soon for our thoughts. Our test environment will include standard data transfers over usb 3 in addition to use on a 24/7 media server. Let's see if these suckers can stand the pressure that a media server puts on a harddrive.

    Interested in checking them out yourself? Here they are:
    Seagate Backup Plus 5TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB3

    Seagate Backup Plus 6TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB3

    Seagate Backup Plus 8TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB3

  • Surge protector? We don't need no stinkin' Surge Protector! Do we?

  •  We have, over the years, run into many situations that could have been avoided by simply using a good quality surge protector. Motherboards being toasted, power supplies roasted and even tv's and entertainment systems being fried, all for the lack of a good, relatively new surge protector.
    I'm not talking about a simple $10 model from the local "everything" store. I'm talking about an APC Back-UPS! Not only do they offer multiple outlets, but they even include a battery backup.

     Backup batteries are great not only if the power goes out and you need some extra juice, the far more important role it plays is that these systems draw their power from the battery ALL THE TIME. This means, if there are fluctuations in power, your equipment will never know, because that battery sat there and provided consistent power through the whole ordeal. Many times, you won't even notice what is happening, days, weeks, even months later, your equipment fails and you have no idea why. These fluctuations in power take their toll, sometimes right away, sometimes later. Take our advice, avoid them, it's simple, although not cheap. Good protection will cost you no less than $40, it just wont, but, it can save you thousands. Take a look at these models that we have used for years and trust completely. Best of all, FREE SHIPPING!

     If you are running a laptop, some speakers, maybe an external monitor and really don't need much additional battery backup time or a gaming consoles like an xbox or playstation, 32" or smaller modern tv and smaller entertainment centers. Then check out the APC BE350G UPS System, it has 6 outlets and a 350VA battery backup.

     If you are running a desktop computer, monitor(up to two), small printer (put laser printers on their own ups if at all possible), and/or need a bit more battery backup time. Or if you have a medium sized entertainment system with a 52" or smaller modern tv, check out the APC Back-UPS ES 8 Outlet 550VA 120V.

     If you have a powerful desktop PC, gaming PC, 3 or more monitors, high end surround sound speakers, several external hard drives. Or if you have a large tv, higher end surround sound system, large entertainment system then you want the APC BE750G Power Saving Battery Back-UPS. With its 10 outlets and large 750VA battery backup, you have the protection and battery power that you need!

  • 28:19 Video Ministry Live!

  • Continuing our work with the Twenty8Nineteen Video Ministry we recently helped them research and choose a computerless live video streaming device called the Teradek VidiU. 2819 came to us looking for a solution to live stream their Sunday morning church services to youtube.

    During the research process we created a google docs spreadsheet outlining the pros and cons of all of the potential solutions currently available. We have since handed over this document to 28:19 to track their use of the device, any issues, etc. Feel free to take a look HERE. This unit is amazing, it allows you to connect straight to youtube live (or other live streaming server) WITHOUT a computer! it has a built in battery that lasts about an hour as well as an included AC adapter. It will stream up to full 1080p HD video @ 5.5 Mbps if you have enough bandwidth available, if not, you can tell it to stream at 720p, 480p, 320p and other resolutions. Because of 28:19's location, they have a very limited amount of bandwidth so they use a cell phone's wireless tethering and it works great.

    Take a look at the great things 28:19 is doing on their youtube channel, and hey, if you feel called to, why not donate! they are doing awesome stuff! 28:19 on Youtube!

  • 28:19 Video Ministry

  • Recently we worked on a project with a group that produces original Christian video content for small churches. They required a setup that would allow them to record from a dSLR camera directly onto a hard drive and bypass the 30 minute record limitation. After talking with them about all their needs and the conditions they would likely find themselves in when recording. We chose to use a Atomos Ninja 2 long with an HGST Travelstar 7200rpm 1TB 2.5" harddrive. Since their shooting conditions were static and from a tripod, we knew the relatively low cost of the 7k1000 hard drive would help offset the expense of the ninja 2. Twenty8nineteen.org has been using this setup for a couple months now and absolutely loves it! The video quality of the recording from a Canon 5d Mark III to the Ninja 2 via an HDMI cable is superb. Other items used in this project include;
    6-Feet Gold Plated 3.5mm Male to 3.5mm Female Extension Stereo Audio Cable
    BlueRigger High Speed Micro HDMI to HDMI cable with Ethernet (6 Feet)
    BlueRigger High Speed HDMI cable with Ethernet - Ultra-thin and flexible - Supports 3D and Audio Return (6 Feet)
    Cable Matters High Speed Micro-HDMI (Typ D) to HDMI (Typ A) Cable 3D & 4K Resolution Ready with Ethernet - 10 Feet

    Darn Wi-Fi!! One of our consultants ran into an interesting issue at a clients rather large home. Using traditional high end wireless range extenders a certain portion of the home just would not let wifi in. Unfortunately this area happened to be the clients home office space! We ended up using the Linksys powerline av wireless network extender (plwk400) with absolutely perfect results! These extenders work by using the existing AC power lines in your home or office as a "wired" connection to the network. Then you simply plug in the wifi module into a standard AC outlet in the area where you need bosted signal and there you have it. Quick for our consultants to setup, secure and no messy holes in the wall to run new wiring. We also recommend the Asus RT-AC68U Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Router. We have used this router in hard to fill wifi ranges for a dozen installs and its tops on our list at the moment. A little bit more expensive than some of the competitors but our experience is showing that the performance in terms of speed and range are superior.

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